Keith Norton, Vice President & General Manager, L3Harris Communications Systems UK, attended a No. 10 roundtable on Oct. 20. Norton represented L3Harris Technologies, in collaboration with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), other industry, institutional and academic players and Social Mobility, Youth and Progression Minister Mims Davies, MP. They discussed the urgent need for the UK to equip young people with the necessary tools to pursue careers in STEM. Several key strategies were discussed, including teacher training, increased industry involvement and school linkage.
Norton shares his thoughts from the roundtable below:
Our schools teach science as a theoretical subject; however, engineering is seen as a specialism to be taken later in academic careers.
Whilst design & technology are in the UK National Curriculum we have fallen into the trap of making things to print in classrooms -- this is not engineering. Our youngest children have digital skills beyond their age with fluency with smartphones and tablets, but this is not engineering either.
What the education system needs is to inspire young people at an early age as to what engineering is and for them to understand that everything in their world that is not part of nature exists because of engineering and engineers. Furthermore, engineering is an approach to problem-solving and solution creation built on the foundations and laws of math and the sciences and that there are many different exciting and rewarding career paths open to them.
Getting young people into engineering of all disciplines is fundamental to the future prosperity of the UK.
A very valid observation was made during the discussion that the Science Museum Group does not contain examples of science per se, it is in fact a showcase of engineering!
Read more about The Institute of Engineering and Technology here: TheIET.org
If you want a glimpse of what it looks like inside No. 10 Downing Street, London, UK, click here: Garden, London, United Kingdom — Google Arts & Culture